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The Effect of Early Life Factors and Early Interventions on Childhood Overweight and Obesity 2016

Call for Papers

The global obesity epidemic continues to be one of the major health burdens on society, which directly affects our younger generation. Worldwide, more than 40 million children under the age of five were overweight with a global prevalence of overweight being 6.7% in 2010. The prevalence rate is even higher in some developed countries like the United States and Australia where almost 20 percent of children are overweight and obese. The rates of overweight and obesity have been dramatically increasing in some developing countries such as China and India over the recent years. This highlights the need for a better understanding of the effect of early life factors on overweight and obesity and, more importantly, for the development of effective early interventions. Research evidence has already shown that some early infant feeding practices, including breastfeeding and the timing of the introduction of solids and children’s eating habits and television viewing time, are among the most identifiable factors contributing to early onset of childhood obesity. However, these risk factors for overweight and obesity are just the tip of the iceberg. There remain many unknown factors which require further research. In particular, the context of early life factors includes family environments and parental inferences and societal influences.

To date, research has failed to establish a direct causal link between early life factors and childhood overweight and obesity, often due to the potential confounding effect of unidentified factors. Further, study findings are often not comparable due to the use of different assessment tools for the study variables, different definitions of childhood obesity, and different age groups of the study population. This has created a challenge for health promotion or healthcare providers in developing appropriate early obesity interventions. Much more needs to be understood about early life factors contributing to childhood obesity and what public health interventions can tackle the epidemic of childhood obesity.

We invite investigators to contribute original research articles as well as review articles that will stimulate the continuing efforts to understand the effect of early life factors on overweight and obesity and to help develop intervention strategies to reduce childhood obesity. We are particularly interested in the evaluation of interventions with population health outcomes. Investigators who have conducted research on these topics are invited to submit manuscripts for consideration for this special issue.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Recent epidemiologic studies on early life factors associated with overweight and obesity
  • Recent epidemiologic studies or review articles on the effect of early life factors on overweight and obesity
  • Reports on public health and health promotion intervention studies
  • Reports on intervention trials and program evaluations
  • Recent advances in assessing or monitoring changes in early life factors and overweight and obesity

Authors can submit their manuscripts via the Manuscript Tracking System at

Manuscript DueFriday, 27 May 2016
First Round of ReviewsFriday, 19 August 2016
Publication DateFriday, 14 October 2016

Lead Guest Editor

  • Li Ming Wen, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia; University of Tongji, Shanghai, China

Guest Editors